Ravenna Koenig, Alaska's Energy Desk - Fairbanks

81 POSTS 0 COMMENTS

Reactions from Utqiaġvik on a whaling quota rule change: ‘We don’t have to beg anymore’

This year, the Alaska Eskimo Whaling Commission and the U.S. government put forward a new proposal that would change how the International Whaling Commission renews its quota. It passed.

Science and traditional knowledge converge in North Slope Borough’s bowhead whale program

Scientists have spent the past few decades catching up to traditional knowledge, documenting scientifically what whale hunters already knew. Like the fact that the whales can smell, and that they can travel under sea ice.

New study says Chukchi polar bears are healthy despite sea ice loss — for now

“Unless the underlying problem of climate change is addressed, the sea ice is expected to continue to diminish,” said polar bear researcher Eric Regehr. “And at some point that will likely have a negative effect on the bears in this Chukchi area.”

In a warming Arctic, October in Utqiaġvik presents an especially striking picture

Billy Adams, a hunter in his 50s, says that when he was growing up in Utqiagvik, there was almost always ice attached to the shore by now. Listen now

Fall whaling in Utqiaġvik: joy, excitement and this year, mourning too

Whaling Captain Crawford Patkotak says many in the community are still mourning the loss of two whalers in an accident this season, but the overarching dedication to continuing the tradition of whaling remains strong. Listen now

A warming Arctic means a change of plans for offshore drilling project

As the Arctic warms, Hilcorp is already having to tweak its proposal to accommodate climate change. And future companies looking to drill offshore in the Arctic may have additional changes to plan for. Listen now

Alaskans rally in support of youth climate lawsuit, currently in limbo

“This is no longer a scientific issue, it’s not a scientific question. It’s a moral and spiritual issue,” said Tom Baring of Fairbanks, the father of one of the plaintiffs. Listen now

Two Utqiaġvik whaling crew members die in apparent whaling accident

North Slope Borough Mayor Harry K. Brower Jr. said that the Borough is not releasing details about the incident until all the facts are gathered and all family members have been notified. Listen now

In Interior Alaska, reinvestment in coal power runs counter to national trend

Even after decades of talk about getting affordable natural gas to the Interior, Fairbanks as of yet has only a limited supply of natural gas. And unlike many other places in the country, it’s not price-competitive with coal. Listen now

Arctic sea ice minimum continues downward trend, with implications beyond the Arctic

"The Arctic’s like an air conditioner or refrigerator for the global climate...And as the Arctic warms, partly because the sea ice is going away, it’s like you’re opening that refrigerator door." Listen now

In Fairbanks, building a home on permafrost with an uncertain future

When Benesch bought this property back in 1999, he was pretty sure it had permafrost under it, though he didn’t know for certain. Listen now

For methane researcher, golf course bubbles are a first

“It’s an area that I and some other colleagues have started thinking about: can you get methane forming in terrestrial environments? But it’s a very new area of science,” carbon scientist Katey Walter Anthony said. Listen now

International Whaling Commission votes to change subsistence quota renewal process

The International Whaling Commission voted to change the way that subsistence hunt quotas are set. Listen now

Fuel for North Slope oil production arrives by barge for the first time

Bringing fuel up to the North Slope by barge is now possible due to declining sea ice. Listen now

August storms prompt North Slope Borough to file disaster declaration

Emergency Manager Heather Seeman says she’s concerned about the storm season ahead. Listen now

In the air with NASA: studying environmental change from 40,000 feet

There's a whole host of environmental changes the project is examining, like the severity and frequency of forest fires, insect activity and wildlife migration.

Shipping titan Maersk sends company’s first container ship to test trans-Arctic trade route

The world’s largest container shipping company is about to send its first cargo vessel across the Arctic. It’s a small step, but a significant one in the expansion of trade in Arctic waters as ice recedes due to climate change. Listen now

In Utqiaġvik, a growing erosion problem may soon outpace local efforts to slow it

"We know that the berm isn’t the long-term solution," Scott Evans with the North Slope Borough said. "But that’s what we have the ability to do right now. So that’s what we’re continuing to do because we know it’s slowing everything down." Listen now

Alaskans may soon be able to finance energy improvements through their utility bills

The utility loans could cover a range of upgrades including solar panels, higher efficiency appliances, and switches in heating fuel systems. Listen now

New data on Chukchi Sea polar bears leads to subsistence harvest level increase

Native hunters in Alaska are about to see an increase in the number of polar bears they can harvest from the Chukchi Sea bear population. Listen now